World Class Championship Wrestling
World Class Championship Wrestling, also known as World Class Wrestling Association, was mostly thought of as a Texas federation, but also ran shows in Southwest Oklahoma and as far north as Muskogee as well as several countries overseas. Originally owned by promoter Ed McLemore, by 1966 it was run by Southwest Sports, Inc., whose president was Jack Adkisson, better known as wrestler Fritz Von Erich. WCCW was at one time the most widely seen wrestling federation, broadcasting around the world to a greater audience then the World Wrestling Federation in the 1980s. WCCW made all the Von Erichs household names in the 1980s, although a series of personal disasters led to the end of that dynasty way too soon. There were often talent exchanges between WCCW and Mid-South Wrestling or Universal Wrestling Federation. WCCW would eventually secede from the NWA, declaring Rick Rude their first World Champion (a claim that many people refused to acknowledge, including Pro Wrestling Illustrated). By that point, the personal disasters and Fritz's declining health led the federation to begin to tailspin. In 1989, they merged with the Jerry Jarrett & Jerry Lawler owned Continental Wrestling Association to form the United States Wrestling Alliance (USWA). The merger dissolved because of a revenue dispute with the Von Erichs (who still owned 40 percent of the Dallas half of the promotion). Jarrett ultimately pulled the promotion out of Dallas in September 1990. Shortly before Jarrett's departure, KTVT, the Dallas television station that carried WCCW telecasts, dropped its long-running Saturday night wrestling telecasts. According to some reports, the cancellation was the result of frequent on-air profanity (used primarily by Eric Embry), despite multiple warnings from station management. Kevin Von Erich began promoting Sportatorium wrestling himself, bringing back the World Class Championship Wrestling name. Initially, the return of World Class proved to be a modest success but financial resources ran out quickly and attendance at the Sportatorium dropped considerably to as many as less than 500. As a result, on November 23, 1990, Von Erich held its last World Class Championship Wrestling card at the Sportatorium, which featured Kevin winning the Texas Heavyweight Championship from The Angel of Death in the card's final match. In 1991, Kevin Von Erich began a working agreement with Boston-based International Championship Wrestling, which renamed itself International World Class Championship Wrestling, but that lasted less than a year. The following year, Kevin began promoting a few scattered cards under the WCCW banner but even that could not capture the same fever as the original. Kevin, as the last surviving Von Erich offspring, sold the WCCW tape library to World Wrestling Entertainment in 2006. Pictured or listed below are the wrestlers that held at least one WCCW title from September of 1981, when they began running shows in Oklahoma, until the company's merger with Continental Wrestling Association to form the USWA in August of 1989.
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